Butter can replace cream to make ganache. Butter ganache is more prevalent in Europe than in the United States, and it is often made with liquors. Butter contributes a creamy mouthfeel with dairy flavors. Additionally, butter contains less water (16 percent) than cream (60 to 65 percent) and therefore creates a firmer and more shelf-stable product. While cream ganache is a fat-in-water emulsion, butter ganache is a water-in-fat emulsion due to the higher fat content and lower water content.

Unsalted butter is the best choice for making ganache, and ideally butter containing 85% fat should be used. In the United States, butter is generally 80 to 81% fat, with 15 to 16 percent water and 4 to 5 percent milk solids. In Europe, the fat content can be up to 85%. Like chocolate, butter is susceptible to odors and should be stored in well-wrapped packaging.

Butter ganache is made using melted, tempered chocolate and softened, but not melted butter. Tempered chocolate enhances the texture and mouthfeel of the finished ganache, and when combined with the fat in the butter, it creates a quick-setting and firm product. Using melted butter would increase the risk of separation into butterfat and water and would prevent the formation of a smooth emulsion when the butter is combined with the chocolate. Both the chocolate and the butter should be at similar temperatures when they are combined to ensure even emulsification. Butter ganache is mainly used for piping.

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Method

Basic Butter Ganache Method

  1. Scale (measure out) the butter and couverture.
  2. Temper the couverture and make sure it is at the high end of the working temperature range, 90°F/32.2°C for dark chocolate, 88°F/31.1°C for milk chocolate, and 86°F/30°C for white chocolate.
  3. In a mixing bowl, blend the softened butter (at 80° to 90°F/30° to 32°C) until smooth. If the ganache will be used for piped applications, you may whip the butter using a mixer and paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Aerating the butter helps retain the shape of the piped pieces and provides a creamier mouthfeel.
  4. Fold in the tempered couverture.
  5. Add the liquor, if using, and blend with an immersion blender until the ganache is smooth and shiny.
  6. Allow the ganache to set up until it is firm enough to pipe.

Butter Ganache Formulas

Product/Use Chocolate Variety Ratio of Chocolate to Cream Amount of Chocolate Amount of Cream
Firm ganache for slabbed pralines and truffles Dark couverture 2:1 35.3 oz/1000 g 17.6 oz/500 g
Milk couverture 2.5:1 35.3 oz/1000 g 14.1 oz/400 g
White couverture 2.5:1 35.3 oz/1000 g 14.1 oz/400 g
Medium ganache for piped pralines Dark couverture 1.5:1 35.3 oz/1000 g 23.5 oz/667 g
Milk couverture 2:1 35.3 oz/1000 g 17.6 oz/500 g
White couverture 2:1 35.3 oz/1000 g 17.6 oz/500 g
Soft ganache for molded pralines Dark couverture 1:1 35.3 oz/1000 g 35.3 oz/1000 g
Milk couverture 1.5:1 35.3 oz/1000 g 23.5 oz/667 g
White couverture 1.5:1 35.3 oz/1000 g 23.5 oz/667 g

– Since they are close in temperature, the butter and chocolate mix very easily.

– Once the chocolate and butter are blended, carefully add the liquor and create an emulsion.

– For butter ganache pralines, pipe the set ganache onto chocolate discs.

If adding alcohol to the formula, in order to keep the same consistency listed in the table, add an extra 5.3 oz/150 g couverture and 3.5 oz/100 g alcohol.

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